- Where is the Belarusian Children’s Hospice?
- How does the Belarusian Children’s Hospice help sick children and their families?
- Do the families of sick children have to pay for the hospice’s services?
- How many children does the hospice help through its ‘Hospice at Home’ service?
- How old are the children cared for by the ‘Hospice at Home’ service?
- How many children stay in the hospice's small in-patient unit?
- What medical conditions are the children suffering from?
- How many staff are employed by the hospice?
- What is the hospice’s annual salary bill for medical and administrative staff?
- How much does a doctor or nurse earn at the hospice?
- How much of the hospice’s funds come from within Belarus?
- Does your charity bring Belarusian children to the UK for a holiday to improve their health?
- When was the hospice founded?
- Why is so much of Belarus irradiated?
- How does Friends of BCH raise funds?
- What proportion of Friends of BCH income is spent on administrative costs?
- How can you be sure that the money you raise is being spent appropriately in Belarus?
- How can I help?
Where is the Belarusian Children’s Hospice?
The hospice is based in Minsk, the capital of Belarus. The main building contains the day centre, a respite care unit, a small oncological in-patient department and the administrative centre where all the hospice’s care programmes are organised and co-ordinated. The hospice also owns a group of purpose built houses and other facilities in the countryside at Zabrodie about 100km from Minsk which it uses for respite care for sick children and their families during the summer months.
How does the Belarusian Children’s Hospice help sick children and their families?
BCH provides the following services: palliative care at home, residential respite care, temporary in-patient service, end of life care, emergency service, mobile care programme, siblings programme, volunteer programme, bereavement programme, child and family respite care at the summer project in the countryside at Zabrodie, parents’ club and educational programme in palliative care for medical workers and publishes informative booklets.
Do the families of sick children have to pay for the hospice’s services?
No. All the hospice’s services are provided free of charge.
How many children does the hospice help through its ‘Hospice at Home’ service?
In a year, teams from the Belarusian Children’s Hospice make regular visits to about 90 families in Minsk. Sometimes more than one child in a family will need care. The total number of visits in a year can reach 4000 and the average length of a visit is 3½ hours. In addition, about 40 families living outside the city of Minsk are regularly helped by the mobile palliative care service.
How old are the children cared for by the ‘Hospice at Home’ service?
BCH cares for children and young adults from birth to 24 years old. Originally, the hospice cared for children up to the age of 18 years. With improved care, many of the young patients are now living longer than their initial prognosis. So, in recognition of this, BCH has extended its care programme to cover patients upto 24 years.
How many children stay in the hospice's small in-patient unit?
The in-patient unit has 2 family rooms and a nurse’s room. Each child, with a member of his or her family, usually stays for a couple of weeks but he or she can stay until the end of the child’s life if the family wishes.
What medical conditions are the children suffering from?
Broadly speaking, these fall into three categories: cancer, diseases of the central nervous system and genetic/developmental diseases.
How many staff are employed by the hospice?
BCH employs 38 full-time and part-time staff including the director, full-time doctor and deputy director, accountant, secretary, administrator, personnel officer, head nurse, nurses, care assistants, psychologist, play therapist, home visitor, family therapist, dedicated fundraisers, 2 drivers and a manager and a handyman at the summer project in Zabrodie.
What is the hospice’s annual salary bill for medical and administrative staff?
£110,000 and Friends of the Belarusian Children’s Hospice (UK) has made a commitment to meet approximately two-thirds of this bill.
How much does a doctor or nurse earn at the hospice?
The full-time hospice doctor (who is also the medical director) earns £3600pa and the senior full-time nurse £2760pa. Nurses are paid £2400pa.
How much of the hospice’s funds come from within Belarus?
The hospice does not receive any government funding. Just a few years ago, very little of BCH's income came from local sources but currently 56% of its income comes from within Belarus. This dramatic increase is mainly due to the dedicated fundraiser whose salary is paid for by Friends of BCH. At the moment, the hospice is still dependent on money raised by Friends of BCH but our aim is to help the hospice become entirely self-funded.
Does your charity bring Belarusian children to the UK for a holiday to improve their health?
No. Friends of BCH does not bring children out of Belarus. The money we raise goes much further in supporting their medical care in Minsk and the surrounding areas. We do support the hospice’s holiday programme for hospice children and their families in the village of Zabrodie 100km north of Minsk during the summer months.
When was the hospice founded?
The hospice was founded in 1994 by Anna Garchakova who is still its director. Anna introduced palliative care to Belarus and BCH was the first children’s hospice in the former Soviet Block countries. Since then BCH has helped found children’s hospices in 4 of the 6 regions in Belarus and been instrumental in setting up the first hospice for adults in the country.
Why is so much of Belarus irradiated?
When a nuclear reactor at the Chernobyl Power Station in Ukraine exploded in 1986, the wind blew most of the radioactive fallout across Belarus. The border with Ukraine is just 16km from Chernobyl.
How does Friends of BCH raise funds?
We raise funds from grant making trusts, standing orders, sponsored events, private donations, giftaid, concerts and business clubs and the catholic church in Great Missenden supports us.
What proportion of Friends of BCH income is spent on administrative costs?
Friends of the Belarusian Children’s Hospice (UK) spends 3.7% of its total income on administrative expenses. All our trustees and helpers are unpaid and a local business sponsors most of our printing costs.
How can you be sure that the money you raise is being spent appropriately in Belarus?
Friends of BCH receives quarterly reports from the hospice detailing how the money we send to them is spent. Friends of BCH’s chairwoman speaks and reads Russian fluently, has spent many years working in Russia and is a member of the Hospice’s Advisory Board. She visits the hospice at least once a year to discuss its strategies and programmes and is in constant email and telephone contact with the hospice’s director and fundraiser.
How can I help?
If you would like to get involved with raising money for the Belarusian Children's Hospice, please click here.